The latest evolution of Wi-Fi is here and with it comes super-fast internet

17 Sep 2019293 Views

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While the launch of a certificate might seem pretty mundane, it means the next evolutionary step when it comes to Wi-Fi.

The alliance that determines the fate of much of the internet across the world has signed off on what it calls the “new Wi-Fi era”. In a statement, the non-profit organisation Wi-Fi Alliance – made up of companies including Apple, Microsoft and Intel – said that Wi-Fi 6 is now certifiable.

This means that participating manufacturers can say their new products meet the updated standard. Wi-Fi 6 adoption is now expected to surge and with it will come a substantial upgrade in performance.

As explained by the alliance, the new standard is designed with the internet-of-things (IoT) ecosystem in mind, allowing for a greater number of devices in one network but also increasing data speeds overall.

This includes pushing out the theoretical maximum limit of transmission speeds from 3.5Gbps to 9.6Gbps. The next-generation Wi-Fi achieves this through a number of optimisations and tools built into it. In particular, the new certification will support cellular networks to support a number of 5G services.

‘5G services need Wi-Fi 6’

The Wi-Fi Alliance has said the first product to receive certification is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Speaking of the standard, Samsung Electronics’ VP and head of its technology strategy group in the IT and mobile communications division, Inkang Song, said: “High-speed 5G services need Wi-Fi 6 and so do consumers who want to seamlessly share the moments they create on their mobile devices.”

Despite the certification only being announced this week, it has been quietly rolling out for a while. However, this announcement will likely see its adoption accelerated among partnering manufacturers for devices launching later this year and in 2020.

Phil Solis, a research director at market research firm IDC, said: “Wi-Fi 6 brings greater speeds and more efficiency to Wi-Fi networks, expanding its role as a critical communication platform.

“Wi-Fi 6 drives a higher quality experience for all Wi-Fi’s many use cases, further propelling the Wi-Fi market and ensuring Wi-Fi maintains its strong position as the connectivity landscape evolves.”

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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